Grant sought for local landfill study |

Grant sought for local landfill study

John Gardner
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The City of Glenwood Springs is seeking a United States Department of Agriculture grant to fund a feasibility study on the viability of a Regional Solid Waste Management Plan for the tri-county area of Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield Counties.

An application addressed to the USDA dated Dec. 29, 2009, states that “The City of Glenwood Springs is in support of South Canyon Solid Waste Disposal Site’s request for a USDA solid Waste Management grant to evaluate the feasibility of implementing the proposed regional solid waste management plan.”

According to Larry Giroux, manager for Heartland Environmental Services. LLC, which operates the South Canyon and Pitkin County Landfills, the idea is to use the four landfills in Pitkin, Eagle, and Garfield Counties as a collective waste system that would be more efficient, and economical for the region. With each facility having it’s own individual purpose and ultimately extending the life of each landfill.

That would be accomplished by developing a radical process that focuses on using existing solid waste facilities and redirecting each facility’s specific purpose to eliminate redundant operations at the four landfills, and two material recovery facilities – which are located in Pitkin and Eagle Counties.

The application proposes to centralize the solid waste disposal operations at South Canyon Landfill, near Glenwood Springs, and reassign responsibilities at the remaining sites.

For instance, the South Canyon Landfill would construct and operate a “dirty” materials recovery facility, and would primarily receive municipal solid waste from Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield County. All co-mingled recyclables would be separated and transported to Eagle County for separation and processing. South Canyon would also produce engineered fuel pellets, which could create an additional revenue stream for the municipality.

South Canyon would also house a processed and septage waste water evaporation facility for the region.

Eagle County would be responsible for collection of construction and demolition garbage, and receive all commingle recyclables from three county area.

Pitkin County would operate also as a construction and demolition site, composting, and aggregate processing facility.

The study would evaluate the feasibility of completing the proposed regional plan and determine what impacts it would have on the three county region, the project summary reads.

Giroux said one of the positive aspects of a system like this is that it would do away with recycling centers, ultimately saving municipalities money, because people could put the recyclables in the trash to be separated at the facility. It would also increase the participation in recycling from around 30 percent to 100 percent, Giroux said.

A 2007 study determined the diversion rate for South Canyon was about 2 percent of recyclable materials being separated at the landfill. Pitkin County, which currently has a material recovery facility, was reported to have a diversion rate of about 18 percent. Those amounts would increase significantly, according to Giroux.

Giroux estimated that for every 10 tons of garbage collected, about 35 percent of the volume could be recycled, about 50 percent could be turned into renewable energy fuel pellets, and the remaining 15 percent would be left in the landfill. However, he estimated that the 15 percent left at the landfill would be less than the amount which is currently being buried annually at South Canyon.

The study would be headed by the City of Glenwood Springs, with a portion of technical assistance being contracted to Aquaterra Environmental Solutions, Inc.

The feasibility study will ultimately determine if the regional plan is viable and a benefit to the three county region.

According to the application, Aquaterra will contract directly with Glenwood Springs for the completion of the feasibility study associated with the regional plan. The contract will be a “time and materials” with a “not to exceed” agreement based on monthly invoicing and payments. The grant is for $91,000.

Giroux said that they will find out in March if the USDA grants their request. If so, the study could begin in October.

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